Disney's live-action Aladdin was a huge hit. The film brought in over a billion dollars at the box office and, for star Mena Massoud, was his breakout role that made him a household name after he was cast following a massive search for an actor to play the film's titular role. However, despite the success of Aladdin, things haven't been a magic carpet ride for Massoud. The actor has revealed that he hasn't been able to get a single audition in Hollywood since the film premiered.
In an interview with The Daily Beast in support of his role in the Hulu series Reprisal, Massoud said that he was tired of not speaking up about the reality of his situation in that, contrary to what many may think, his breakout role hasn't resulted in breakout success.
"I'm kind of tired of staying quiet about it," Massoud said. "I want people to know that it's not always dandelions and roses when you're doing something like Aladdin. 'He must have made millions. He must be getting all these offers.' It's none of those things. I haven't had a single audition since Aladdin came out."
In Aladdin, Massoud starred opposite Will Smith's Genie and Naomi Scott's Princess Jasmine. The film was a box office success and did earn Massoud some acclaim. The actor recently received a Breakout Award from the SCAD Savannah Film Festival. But that hasn't translated to a lot of auditions or new roles -- the Hulu series and the film Run This Town came before the film's release. It's that distinction, that huge box office success for a film doesn't always mean major success for the stars, that Massoud is trying to clarify.
"It's wild to a lot of people," he explained. "People have these ideas in their head. It's like, I'm sitting here being like, okay, Aladdin just hit $1 billion. Can I at least get an audition? Like I'm not expecting you to be like, here's Batman. But can I just get in the room? Like, can you just give me a chance? So it's not always what you think."4comments
He also went on to explain that he's now had to learn how to manage his expectations.
“I think since Aladdin my expectations for things releasing and what they’re going to do in my career, I’ve had to really pull them back,” he said. “… As for whether people are gonna discover me from it or what it’s going to do, I literally have no clue.”